Obama Extends Unemployment Benefits

President Obama signed a bill last night that extends unemployment benefits for one month, among other things. BusinessWeek has the details:

The measure extends benefits for the jobless one month, including subsidies to help the unemployed buy health insurance, as well as postpones cuts in Medicare reimbursements in doctors. It also releases highway money, the delay of which forced the Transportation Department to furlough 2,000 employees. The package also extends Medicare physician payments and flood insurance programs.

Unemployment benefits for many expired Feb. 28 and the Labor Department said 400,000 could see aid cut within two weeks if Congress didn’t act.

Controversial Kentucky Senator Jim Bunning had been blocking the bill for about a week before relenting:

Bunning agreed to allow the vote so long as he was promised separate consideration of his amendment to offset the cost of the legislation by closing a tax break for paper companies. His amendment was defeated on a procedural vote amid complaints by Democrats that its passage would force the House to again approve the legislation, which would further delay the extension of unemployment benefits and the other provisions.